IMPEL EU Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law

What is IMPEL?

The voluntary European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) is an informal network of the environmental authorities of the Member States of the European Union and, presently, Norway, Croatia, Macedonia, and Turkey.

Since its establishment in 1992 the EU Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) has developed into an important forum of the Member States for the exchange of information and experience in questions concerning the implementation and enforcement of the EU’s environmental legislation. In a great many projects law enforcement issues have been dealt with in detail and especially the new Member States have received support when setting up enforcement structures and instruments. In many fields, IMPEL has also assisted the European Commission in issues concerning enforcement, for example by elaborating minimum criteria for environmental inspections, controls of trans-frontier waste shipment or the provision of feedback and information on the enforcement of environment-related Directives, such as the IPPC Directive.

Objectives of IMPEL

The Network’s objective is to create the necessary impetus in the European Union to make progress on ensuring a more effective application of environmental legislation.

The network promotes the exchange of information and experience, and the development of greater consistency of the approach in the implementation, application, and enforcement of environmental legislation, with special emphasis on EU environmental legislation.

In order to attain these objectives, the following works, for example, have been completed so far:

  • Exchange of information and experiences on the approval of industrial plants as well as implementation and enforcement of the EU legislation in this field
  • Comparison of Member States’ technical standards and technologies for the control of environmental stress in various types of plants and, as a result, the establishment of technical guidelines for the supervisory authorities of different branches of industry
  • Comparison of implementing rules and enforcement schemes of Member States in the field of environmental legislation
  • Exchange programmes for inspectors
  • Working out best practice for inspections
  • Report on the monitoring and enforcement schemes for the trans-frontier shipment of hazardous waste
  • Working out best practice for waste treatment

The IMPEL Network was established as early as in 1992. The IMPEL Secretariat was located at the Directorate-General for Environment of the European Commission and was financed directly from EU funds. Since 26 May 2008 IMPEL has had a separate legal status as an international association under Belgian law. Thanks to this scheme IMPEL is eligible for Life+ funds of the European Union. The remaining funds are provided via membership contributions and voluntary payments.

The IMPEL Secretariat is now located at the Belgian Environmental Inspectorate:
Chemin des deux maisons 73, box 3
1200 Brussels
phone: +44 (0)20 3289 7442
This homepage contains all important items of information on IMPEL and also the reports on the completed projects.

The fields of work of IMPEL have been newly subdivided into 5 parts called “expert teams“:

  1. Industry and air: Deals with questions of environmental protection of industrial plants and measures to combat air pollution. The heart is the implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive IED (No 2010/75/EU) 
  2. Waste and TFS: Deals with questions of transnational shipment of hazardous wastes and of international controls as well as with questions of the implementation of waste legislation of the EU as well as with expert exchange programmes in these field.
  3. Water and soil: Deals with questions of EU legislation and implementation on the preservation of water quality and quantity as well as with sustainable soil management in the EU.
  4. Nature and species protection: Deals with questions of the implementation and execution of EU legislation on nature conservation and species protection and the preservation of biodiversity within the EU.
  5. Horizontal areas: Deals with interdisciplinary questions of EU environmental legislation and implementation such as system analyses, procedures and working methods; e.g. analysis of environmental inspection procedures in one Member State by experts of other Member States, conferences and exchange programmes.

For further information please look at the following website: